By Tim Leeds
The Park Hotel in downtown Havre has reopened, and business in the extended-stay hotel is going well, its new operator said today.
"The hotel is already full," Kurt Johnson said. "We filled her up last night."
Johnson and his wife, Candy, own Outlook Enterprises and own and operate the Budget Inn Motel in Havre. Outlook Enterprises bought the Park Hotel building. Budget Inn has been leasing and operating the hotel for two weeks.
The former owners and operators of the Park Hotel
and restaurant, Ron and Betty Knudson, closed the hotel the week of Aug. 19, about three weeks after they closed the restaurant.
Johnson said he is looking for tenants to rent space in the Park and has already found one new business tenant. Curves for Women, a women's exercise center, will be opening in the back of the building, in the former conference rooms, Johnson said, and he is doing extensive remodeling of the space to accommodate it.
Some people have looked into running the restaurant, but Johnson hasn't found any takers yet. If no one takes that opportunity soon, he will listen to other suggestions for the space, he said. He is also open to suggestions for the rest of the unused space in the building, including changing the rooms or remodeling.
"I'll chop her up however need be," he said.
Johnson said the addition of the business to the Budget Inn operations is a good fit. The Park Hotel allows them to take on much larger crews of people coming to Havre for an extended stay.
The hotel caters to tenants who register for a stay of several days or more. The tenants receive a key to the outer door and their rooms, and Johnson said the rate averages out to lower each day than the rate charged by area motels for an overnight stay. It's also more convenient for the tenants.
"You don't have to deal with anybody on a daily basis," Johnson said. "You check in and stay for a week," or however long the stay is. Tenants check in to the motel at the Budget Inn.
Johnson said there are some excellent rooms at the hotel. The only remodeling of the hotel planned is some new paint and carpeting.
The hotel holds nine suites with their own kitchens and bathrooms, some rooms for double tenants, and 10 rooms that share a bathroom but have their own phones and TVs. Johnson said the setup works well for people coming to town for jobs, such as construction work or natural gas production.
"They make it home," he said. "They move right in and they love it."
Johnson said he and his wife wanted to do something with the Park building after it was closed by the Knudsons.
"It's a great building and I hate to see it go to waste," he said.